Shocked by growing reports about Ultra-Orthodox Jews spitting at Christians in Jerusalem's Old City, a group of Anglo residents is now mobilizing against this ugly practice. Although such incidents reportedly have decreased since a council of Haredi rabbis issued an official condemnation in January in response to the public outcry, Christian and Jewish activists agree the problem is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
"I felt I had to protest," said Andrea Katz, 57, who is planning several events within Jerusalem's liberal Orthodox Yedidya congregation to show solidarity with the Christian community and educate the English-speaking Jewish public about their Christian neighbors. "I don't think that all of a sudden the Haredi world is going to say: Oh my Gosh, we did so wrong, let's stop this. But somehow I had to do something; I just couldn't sit around and do nothing."
For years, there have been incidents of Haredi youths spitting at Christian clergymen in the Old City and near the Mea She'arim neighborhood, according to several Jewish and Christian residents of Jerusalem. One cleric said told a European news site that the spitting was "almost a daily experience."